Tommy Watson is set to become the third head football coach in Lambert High School history.
Watson, who coached for the past five years at Lowndes, met the Lambert football team Wednesday morning and spoke highly of his future players.
"The kids seemed hungry. They were were well dressed, they were well rounded, they were respectful, they looked me in the eye; all good things," Watson said. "I think the sky's the limit with these kids. The most impressive thing is their attention to what I was talking about. You could just sense it in the room that they were excited, that they are looking forward to a change and that they are hungry for change."
At Lowndes, Watson served as special teams coordinator and offensive line coach, also coordinating the run game.
The Vikings compiled a 51-14 record during Watson's time at Lowndes.
Watson has head coaching experience at Upson-Lee, where he led the Knights to a 23-38 record from 2008-13. Watson, who graduated from Upson-Lee in 1997, spent a decade as a coach at the school, serving as the offensive line and defensive line coach, as well as offensive coordinator before being named head coach.
Watson also served one year as Valdosta's offensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
"Well, I've been in middle Georgia and south Georgia my whole career," Watson said. "I've been doing this for 19 years. I really got turned on to this area of the state. I have a sister-in-law that I've been with since I was 2 years old, so she's more like a sister than a sister-in-law, and she lives in Forsyth County. We'd come up, and she's got a newborn baby and we've got to come up and visit them."
"Make no mistake about it, at the end of the day on offense, we want to play fast and we want to play physical. I believe in physicality, and that's going to be one of our cornerstones to build this program, is physicality."Lambert head coach Tommy Watson
Watson's collegiate playing career began at Middle Georgia College, with stops at Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Mississippi State. Watson played offensive line on a 2000 Bulldogs team that finished 8-4 and featured nine-year NFL veteran Fred Smoot in the defensive secondary.
“Preparation, persistence, and learning define the 'Lambert Way,'" Lambert principal Gary Davison said in a release. "I feel that Coach Tommy Watson brings all of these facets to play. He has a long track record of hard work, effective coaching, and a deep desire for excellence. I am thrilled to see our students and parents interact with Coach Watson and the entire coaching staff. We look forward to a new day.”
Watson said he is planning to bring four assistant coaches: an offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator and two assistants.
Lambert finished the 2019 season winless, with the year culminating in the resignation of head coach Louis Daniel.
The Longhorns must replace quarterback Peyton Rich, who signed this month to Gardner-Webb University, but have a few pieces in place, including sophomore wide receiver Kojo Antwi, who picked up a couple of Power 5 offers since the end of the season.
"We're going to be a wide-open type deal, but we're going to be multiple," Watson said. "A lot of that depends on our personnel. We've got to get in there and go to work and see what kind of players we've got. Of course, a lot of that will be built around the quarterback — what he can and can't do. Make no mistake about it, at the end of the day on offense, we want to play fast and we want to play physical. I believe in physicality, and that's going to be one of our cornerstones to build this program, is physicality.
"I hadn't spent a whole lot of time up here," Watson said, "but the times I've been up here and whatnot, I'm excited to be here, thankful for the opportunity and looking forward to going to work."